Pharmacy Students Volunteer in Haiti

6:42 AM, Nov 28, 2010   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y.- It's been nearly a year since an earthquake rocked Port-Au-Prince; for Haitians, despite international aid and attention, 2010 continues to be a year of suffering.  

"The situation down there is probably as bad as it was the day after the earthquake," said Doctor Robert Leopold, Chair of Pharmacy Practice at D'Youville College.

D'Youville pharmacy student Brandi Sieminski knew a volunteer mission in the disaster-stricken country would be an excellent professional opportunity, but it was one she almost passed up.

"I was very hesitant at first, just because I had seen some of the footage after the earthquake," said Sieminski.

But that hesitation soon passed, and before long she and her D'Youville classmate, Myles Passanese, were on a plane, headed south, under the supervision of Dr. Leopold.

"Both these students, the reason why they were chosen, they were very motivated to help the people of Haiti," said Dr. Leopold.

It was five days spent sleeping on cots, working 12-hour shifts.

"It was considered unsafe to leave the hospital," said Sieminski, "so we did not leave unless we had an escort."

The D'Youville group was joining an army of volunteers, organized by the University of Miami's Medishare Program, but they say the need in Haiti is massive, and hard to comprehend.

"Doctor Leopold brought down a scale, which is something here, is so simple, every pharmacy has to have a scale," said Passanese. "They didn't' have one so Doctor Leopold brought down a weighing scale which made a huge difference."

And the hope is that for a country so in need of a difference, this group will be the first of many from D'Youville.
















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